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Maryland Inquires Further About Medical Marijuana

01/31/2010


There are currently 14 states that have legalized medical marijuana. Alaska, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Maine, Michigan, Montana, New Mexico, New Jersey, Nevada, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington all allow marijuana use for medicinal purposes. Maryland is looking to become the 15th state. Legislators in Maryland are considering two bills that would

…allow the use of marijuana by patients who have a “debilitating medical condition,” such as seizures, severe chronic pain or severe nausea as a result of cancer treatment. They would have to register with the state and obtain marijuana from state-licensed dispensaries and pharmacies that might be interested in supplying it.

This opens Maryland up to new tax revenue from the sale of marijuana which in California has generated $100 million in sales tax. The state of Maryland is looking to impose tighter restrictions than found in places like California and Colorado which have seen a plethora of dispensaries, Script Doctors and home-growers game the medical provisions.

The state seems very serious about legalization for seriously ill patients and seems to be trying to cut down on the cases of anxiety, depression, eating disorders and the like that are treated with “the herbal tonic”.

The Colorado law said only that sick patients with a doctor’s permission could possess and cultivate marijuana – or appoint a caregiver to do it for them if they were too sick or didn’t have the expertise. One caregiver could handle many patients – the patients would merely have to designate the person as their caregiver. Some caregivers began opening stores, a boon to those who can’t or don’t want to grow their own marijuana and don’t want to buy it “on the street or in an alley,” he said.The Maryland proposal hopes to avoid that situation by allowing caregivers to serve only one patient

The one caregiver per patient provision seems to be really unnecessary. People who already provide in-home care to the elderly, sick and invalid may have to start including marijuana in their repertoire of skills and may already providing caregiving services for multiple people. If two of those people acquire marijuana perscriptions and need the caregiver to pick it up from the dispensary, that caregiver is breaking the law.

It seems as though the state of Maryland needs to consider very carefully not just the stigma of marijuana but the possible industry and economic opportunities of marijuana in our state. What do you think about medical marijuana and the changes maryland is trying to enact.

Here are links to the Baltimore Sun Articles
2 bills would legalize medical marijuana
Putting fences around medical marijuana use

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